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Posted May 06, 2016 by

Working for a startup after college

Startup business people working at modern office courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Everyone is nervous heading into their last year of college (except for those going to grad school, that is). It’s time recent graduates prove to themselves, and probably to their parents, that all of this was worth it; they can get entry-level jobs, get out on their own, support themselves, and start on a career path. It is probably their family’s hope that grads will conduct their job search seriously, and look at companies/organizations that promise a bright future. They’ve attended their first job fair, passed out their resumes, spoken with corporate recruiters, and some seemed interested. But something doesn’t “feel” right in their gut. There’s no excitement about all of this.

As recent graduates reflect on why they lack excitement, their minds go to the concept of a “corporate” environment with everyone playing their roles, a pretty large bureaucracy, policies, set work hours; “a single cog in a very large machine you will be,” as Yoda would say. Then there’s the office politics grads studied about in those business courses. Somehow, it doesn’t seem right. They’re thinking about their future success, which doesn’t include what the “big boys” offer. Recent grads need to look elsewhere.

Graduates need to consider working for a startup. Now their parents and some of their friends might think they’re a bit nuts. There’s no job security, as 50% of all startups fail within five years, and then where will they be? Mom may be wringing her hands. However, this isn’t their parents’ world anymore, and there are large advantages to taking this path right now in their lives when they have no obligations other than to themselves.

Flexibility and continuous learning

Most start-ups do not have “pigeon-hole” jobs. They will demand everyone pitch in when and where it is needed. Graduates may have a “job title,” but that will not mean a great deal. They’ll have a skill others may not, but they will be required to learn everyone’s job and everyone will be required to learn some of their job. This environment means continuous learning.

What’s the other great thing? Grads will be forced out of their “comfort zone” into exciting challenges; things can change on a dime, and they will need to change with them. If graduates really enjoy risks and challenges, they’ll love it.

Discover new talents

With all of the emphasis on pitching in, group decision-making, and problem-solving, recent grads may find they have creative talents and current skills they never knew or nurtured. They will be far more well-rounded in what they know and what they can do.

Learn how to budget

Pay is generally not the best for those who join startups. In fact, no one joins a startup for the salary. Graduates will often have to continue living like poor students, but they know how to do it. They’ll stretch those dollars, shop at thrift stores, and eat Ramen noodles sometimes. So what? Grads will also learn how to budget and be frugal.

Business people cheering with arms raised courtesy of Shutterstock.com

pikselstock/Shutterstock.com

Work with passionate people

Enthusiasm is contagious, and that is one of the great things about startups. Everyone comes to work excited about the day and their projects. Everyone shares in each other’s successes (and pumps each other up when there are failures). Grads, too, will be excited about getting up every morning and getting to work; many people in the corporate world would love to have that feeling.

Learn entrepreneurship

Forecasters predict small businesses will be more a wave of the future than large corporations. Why? First, corporations continue to expand globally and set up headquarters in other countries. Second, people no longer trust large corporations like they used to. These giants have taken big tumbles in recent years and no longer provide job security to their employees. It is the small business that is trending now. Working for a startup gives employees valuable experience in becoming small business owners at some point, if they should choose to head in that direction.

Push through failure

Most startups have their failures. The good ones with resilient employees move forward, learning from the failure but never losing the enthusiasm for what they are doing. It’s good to experience failure when young; it is a wonderful teacher. If that startup goes “belly up,” think of all the lessons employees have learned in the meantime.

Potentially invest or be given a stake

A lot of startups value their original people, and founders will give those people a stake in the company. Many people became millionaires because they started out with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg. Having a stake in a company at a young age is a great thing.

Love the Culture

Flexible hours are a big plus. Value is not based upon the number of hours worked. It is based on what employees produce. They may work several 18 hour-long days, only to sleep in late for several days after that and only put in four hours or so.

Dress is a big factor for many job seekers. If they love a jeans and flip-flop environment, taking their dogs to work, letting their hair grow, or sporting a tattoo, they will find the startup environment is where they want to be.

Choosing the right startup

Startups come in all different stages of development. Choosing one should be based on job seekers’ level of risk tolerance, their investigation of the founder(s), and their passions for the product(s) or services being developed. Nothing is carved in stone; if one idea doesn’t work out, there are many others to try.

Need career advice as a recent graduate? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Rick Riddle, guest writer

Rick Riddle, guest writer

Rick Riddle is passionate about the self-development process and wants to share his experience with more people via his articles. He believes self-sufficiency and discipline lead to great results. Follow him on Twitter.

Posted August 05, 2015 by

Top 5 Most Effective Ways for Recent Graduates to Fund their Startup Businesses

approved small business loan application and dollar bills

Approved small business loan application and dollar bills. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

If you are a recent graduate and striving to setup your own startup business, there are a number of ways which can be used to collect money but you still need to be sure what kind of funding method will really suit your business type. Though, it is not a rocket science to understand available options, it is quite crucial to analyze your business from all angles to bring it on its feet. You might have a really great business idea but you should always remember that just one mistake can take you away from lots of funding opportunities and therefore, you must know what you actually need to do at this stage. Some available options for recent graduates to fund startups: (more…)

Posted December 08, 2014 by

How a Student Can Earn an Extra Buck in the Internet

Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns

Despite what you see in the movies, students’ lives do not consist entirely of partying, getting wasted and suffering from hangovers afterwards. There are also such things as actual learning and earning some extra money to support yourself through college, with the latter generally being the major concern.

However, the fact that we live in the Internet age makes things a whole lot easier, because it opens up many opportunities to earn decent amounts of cash without wasting a lot of time and getting an official part-time job. You may not only find an opportunity to telecommute, you may start your own small business! Here we will talk about some of these opportunities, allowing you to support yourself without taking a break from your studies. (more…)

Posted August 28, 2014 by

Recruiters, Trying to Find the Best Candidates for a Small Business? 7 Tips to Attract Them

Recruiters who are looking to hire the best candidates for a small business can get seven tips to help attract them in the following post.

Finding and hiring the right people is easier said than done, but it’s an important part of owning a small business. Training and processing new employees is expensive, so managing turnover and improving employee retention is an excellent way to keep tabs on your bottom line. Here are seven strategies you can employ to make

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Posted July 07, 2014 by

Trying to Find an Internship? When to Include an Objective on Your Resume

For anyone trying to find an internship, it may or may not be wise to include an objective on your resume depending on the situation.  Learn more in the following post.

Featured: Featured It’s hard to even think about fall internships – as we just started summer internships – but with the start of July comes the start of the search for the perfect fall internship. I got a note from a reader last night asking me when to include and when not to include an objective on her resume

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Posted December 19, 2013 by

Dreaming of an Entry Level Job as a Small Business Entrepreneur? Some Helpful Advice

If you want an entry level job as a small business entrepreneur, consider some advice from those who’ve been there and done that in the following post.

Small business owners are generally happier than the average worker. They get to choose their own schedules, they’re usually building a business based on their personal interests, and many don’t see profitability as the end-all, be-all success metric. But every small business owner will also tell you that getting a business up and running is hard

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Posted August 14, 2013 by

Small Businesses Say Biggest Challenge is Finding Skilled Employees

Among the various challenges they face, a majority of small businesses say their biggest challenge is finding skilled workers.  Learn more in the following post.

When it comes to running a successful business, finding a highly skilled team of employees is crucial. But it isn’t always easy. In a recent survey by Robert Half, six in 10 (60 percent) small business owners said the biggest challenge in hiring or managing staff is finding skilled professionals for the job. About one in five (19 percent) cited maintaining employee morale and productivity as the chief concern. (more…)

Posted May 01, 2013 by

Small Business Owners Find Happiness

With all of the responsibilities small business owners have (which may include hiring for entry level jobs), they are still finding happiness in their work.  Why?  The following infographic has some reasons, and more information, including tips on becoming a happier business owner. (more…)

Posted April 17, 2013 by

6 Unexpected Benefits of Working for a Small Business

There are six advantages of being employed by a small business, according to the following post.

You finally graduated! With college diploma in hand, you’re now ready to take on the world. Armed with countless hours of research about top employers in your industry, you’re eager to saddle up and start firing off hand-crafted cover letters and resumes to the long list of hiring managers you hope to impress with your

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6 Unexpected Benefits of Working for a Small Business

Posted March 29, 2013 by

Tips for Keeping Costs Low When Starting Your Small Business

Are you trying to open a small business and need to save time and money?  The following post offers tips that can help.

Time and money seem to be the two perpetual challenges every entrepreneur and business owner faces. I speak from experience; I started a successful small retail business while attending college in the United States and now am juggling two other startups as I finish my degree in Germany. What I’

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Tips for Keeping Costs Low When Starting Your Small Business